Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Dore Letter Opposing HB 160

I am an elder law and guardianship attorney in Washington State where assisted suicide is legal.  Like HB 160, our law is modeled on a similar law in Oregon. I urge you to not make our mistake. 

I have three points:

1.  HB 160 is not limited to persons near death, with the most obvious reason being that predictions of life expectancy can be wrong, sometimes way wrong.  This can be due to medical error (the test results got switched) and because predicting life expectancy is not an exact science.  Cf.

2.  Perhaps more importantly, the six months to live criteria will likely be determined "without treatment" so that HB 160 will apply to people with treatable conditions. This is to the how the Oregon model law is interpreted in practice. A recent report by Fabian Stahle, a Swede, puts it this way:

Proponents sell the Oregon model assuring us that assisted suicide will only apply to dying people when all hope is lost. It is "completely misleading."
3.  The bill, regardless, is stacked against the individual with the most obvious reason being a complete lack of oversight at the death.  Even if the patient struggled, who would know?  This is especially an issue for people with money, meaning the middle class and above. As an elder law attorney, I have seen the terrible things that family members and other financial predators will do for money.  It doesn't even have to be a lot of money.  And there is generally no recourse.  Starting a lawsuit or taking other action will not bring mom or dad back, there are often difficult proof problems given that the main witness, mom or dad, is dead. And who wants to air the dirty laundry? 

HB 160 is worse due to the required falsification of the death certificate to reflect a death due to terminal illness, which gives family members and other predators a "stay out of jail free card."  If enacted, HB 160 will create the perfect crime. See

To learn more about problems with HB 160, please go here:

Please vote "No" on HB 160.

Margaret Dore, Esq., MBA, President
Law Offices of Margaret K. Dore, PS
Choice is an Illusion, a nonprofit corporation
1001 4th Avenue, Suite 4400
Seattle, WA  98154
206 697 1217